Things to do in Beirut
Impregnated with its French colonial past during the Second World War, the city of Beirut managed like no other city in the Middle East to keep its strong cultural and historical heritage and combine it with the European lifestyle; which earned the city its nickname, like a bubble in the middle east. 15 years of the civil war didn’t manage to take away the beauty of the city, and the Lebanese Capital turned perfectly tragedy into modernity, meeting the remains of the Ottoman architecture with gleaming towers and French colonial constructions; a stunning fusion of culture and innovation.
Pretty liberal compared to the neighboring countries, Lebanon bends perfectly millennia-old heritage with a westernized sophisticated and cosmopolitan lifestyle; in such a way that short, high heels and bikinis are still a daily sight in the streets of Beirut, and the city as an important destination for fashion lovers.
Good food, warm people, stunning Mediterranean coastline, and rich historical and cultural heritage are so many things that give this special taste to the city, and if you wonder what to do in Beirut, here is a list of the best things to do in Beirut Lebanon.
Visit the Big Mohammad Al Amine Mosque
The Mohammad Al Amine Mosque, also called the Blue Mosque, is a real gem in the heart of the city-center and one of Beirut’s must-see. The biggest mosque of Lebanon sets itself apart with its blue dome recognizable and features inside its impressive structure remarkable ornaments and decorative paintings.
Built on the martyr’s square, the design evocates the Ottoman’s monumental architecture as a tribute to the cultural history of the country, and rises up as a dominant feature of Beirut’s landscape and skyline, becoming one of the most important Beirut Lebanon points of interest.
Come back in time at the National Museum of Beirut
As Beirut’s the principal museum for archeology, the National Museum of Beirut is one of the most important places to visit in Beirut because of its impressive collection of 100,000 artifacts covering Prehistoric Times to the Arabic conquests and Medieval Mamluk period, highlights including the Tyre Phoenician Necropolis Stela, the impressive marble carved Sarcophagus of King Ahiram Bylos and the Statuette of Phoenician Divinity Reshep.
Feel small in the great Baalbek
If you wonder what to see in Beirut absolutely before leaving, it’s definitely the beautiful small town of Baalbek, a two-hour drive from Beirut, and the ancient Heliopolis of the Romans. The place features the impressive Temple of Bacchus, an 1800 years old remain, celebrating the Roman god of wine, the Temple of Jupiter, the God of gods, and the Temple of Venus, goddess of love and beauty.
Enter the intellectual artery of Beirut at Hamra street
A cool place in Beirut to take a stroll in the famous street of Hamra, an important commercial artery of Beirut. The neighborhood owned by the nickname of “Champs-Elysées of Beirut” and is the cultural center of the Lebanese capital, known for its numerous books shops and cafés where the Lebanese intellectuals, Arabs and French, meet the students of the American University of Beirut and the University of Haigazian. You will as well taste the best of Beirut’s Mezze at the Meyzan and the Marbouta, listening to live Arab music.
Pay attention to the architecture
One of the best things to see in Beirut is definitely the architecture, as the city is a great melting pot of the most important periods of our civilization, going from the Hellenistic, Roman, and Ottoman to the period of the French occupation, creating a living timeline. Take some time to stroll in the streets and observe the neo-ottoman architecture on John Kennedy and Omar ed-Daouk streets, have a glimpse of Paris in the placed’étoile, or admire the roman ruins dispersed in the city-center.
Enter the magical display of Byblos
One of the best things to see in Beirut, especially if you are in a romantic mood it’s the city of Byblos. Considered as the first Phoenician City, the place is a living testament of History, as Egyptians, Greeks, Persians, and Romans civilizations once occupied this piece of land.
The city is surrounded by walls from the Medieval period including antic columns, and the heart of the city hosts a church built by the Genoese, a small Mosque, a souk selling local handcrafts, a castle, the antic site, and the port. You will experience a real journey through the ages in a very picturesque display.
Come back with souvenirs from the souk
You can’t come back home without leaping in the majestic souk of Beirut, which is pretty impressive to visit, but maybe a bit painful to your wallet as hosting nos some of the biggest and most luxurious brands in the world. To have a more typical perspective of what were the souks back 5000 years, go to the Souk Al Ahad, a flea market opening only on Sundays, where you can maybe find some great treasures at cheap prices.
If you are interested in the countries of the Middle East, it may be interesting to read about shopping in Dubai